Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Rising inflation set to deflate ALP’s back-in-black joy

What a lot of nonsense is coming to us from the treasurer. His "surplus" is just a huge windfall from unprecedented mining revenue -- attributable to Vladimir Putin and President Xi. Nothing to do with ALP policy.

And his current budget HAS to make inflation worse. Handing more spending money to the public has got to increase demand with no corresponding increased productivity to balance it. The ALP is locked in to continuing inflation, to the detriment of us all

Jim Chalmers has achieved what Josh Frydenberg almost did and Wayne Swan never could.

For the first time in 15 years, the budget will be back in surplus. How much of this can be credited to the Treasurer’s magical abilities will be bitterly contested.

The Coalition will rightly claim the Morrison government’s post-pandemic legacy of full employment has helped deliver it, aided no less by an upward revision of the conservative commodity price forecasts that former Coalition finance minister Mathias Cormann wrote into the budget narrative a decade ago.

But it won’t last long. The budget goes back into deficit next year, as the structural pressures remain unresolved.

This is a significant political moment for Labor. The last time it delivered a surplus was in 1989. The last treasurers to have achieved this were Peter Costello and Paul Keating.

Chalmers will be happy to have the argument.

For Anthony Albanese, returning the budget to balance will right the wrongs of the party’s past record of government and confirm the electoral proposition that under his leadership, Labor is a safe economic bet.

Beyond the rhetorical debate is a quiet reshaping of the social and economic equation.

Chalmers’ first full budget is a bitter clash between retail politics and economic reality.

Inflation is hovering over this budget like a missile-armed drone. It has forced Chalmers and the Prime Minister into making a political choice.

In delivering a massive cost-of-living relief package for Labor’s core constituencies, it risks throwing borrowers – essentially those several million Australians with a home loan – to the wolves of the central bank board.

Chalmers’ claims that his cost-of-living relief package will have a downward pressure in inflation is heavily contested by some economists.

Much of what is known about the budget so far is inherently inflationary.

The energy supplement may reduce prices on energy, by delivering the relief at the bill point, but the indirect effect will be to increase disposable income. Hence it will pump more money into the economy by the simple fact that it puts more money into five million peoples’ pockets.

Raising JobSeeker payments is inherently inflationary. While it might be justified and necessary according to some – albeit not the opposition - the consequences in an inflationary environment can’t be ignored.

Again, it pumps more money into the economy.

The question then is how much of all this spending, which includes $11bn into aged-care wages, is offset by real budget savings.

And how much is being funded by revenue gains that have been largely inherited.

This is the essential equation of Chalmers’ budget. Mortgage holders may end up paying, the RBA may be held to be the villain, and Labor delivers a first downpayment of equity for “its people”.

As economist Chris Richardson argues, what families may want out of the budget may not necessarily be good for families in the long run, if it adds to the inflationary problem.

Albanese’s claim, which he made to his caucus on Monday, was that inflation was a “tax on the poor”. This was the guiding principle of the Calmers budget.

The reality is that inflation is a tax on everyone.


ABC’s impartiality training flunks first hurdle with coronation coverage

Just when Media Watch Dog readers may have thought that the recent “deep dive” session into “impartiality” awareness (the quotes are taken from an ABC staff email) might have an impact – along came last Saturday’s Coronation.

The coverage kicked off at 5pm on Saturday (AEST). Presented by Jeremy Fernandez and Julia Baird – guests included Stan Grant (ABC), Craig Foster (Australian Republic Movement), author Kathy Lette and indigenous lawyer Teela Reid. Republicans all, as far as MWD can work it out. There were also comments by Liberal MP Julian Leeser (a constitutional monarchist) and academic lawyer Dr Anne Twomey. Both Mr Leeser and Professor Twomey are mild mannered types and not of the ranting kind.

Not so Comrades Grant, Foster, Reid and Lette (although the last named does try to be funny). Needless to say, the first three used the occasion to rant against the monarchy, colonisation, contemporary Australia and all that. There’s nothing wrong with the Grant/Foster/Reid trio expressing their views on the taxpayer funded public broadcaster. It’s just that none of the trio was seriously challenged by the presenters or other panellists.

Stan Grant accused the Crown of conducting an exterminating war. Craig Foster declared that, due to the Crown, many of our beautiful multicultural communities suffered. And Reid declared that the Crown had perpetuated colonisation all around the world at the expense of First Nations peoples of colour. She also called for the abolition of the prison system – it’s not clear what relevance this had to the Coronation, but there you go.

MWD changed channels during all this ranting. Free-to-air channels Network 7 and National 9 – which outrated the ABC – were showing footage of guests entering Westminster Abbey. So was subscription channel Sky News. In short, 7, 9, 10 and Sky covered the news. Not so the ABC which seemed to be of the view that Australians need to be “educated”.

Gerard Henderson voted “Yes” in the referendum on the republic in 1999. But Australia remains a constitutional monarchy. And while the Coronation affects contemporary Australia, the taxpayer funded public broadcaster should give impartiality a go.

ABC management could have instructed staff to report the Coronation as an important news event. But the ABC is very much a staff collective – and the occasion was loaded with leftist commentary.

As Sophie Elsworth and James Madden report in today’s Australian, the ABC defended its Coronation coverage (Quelle surprise!) and declared that it reflected a diversity of views. Not so – this would have only been the case if the Grant/Forster/Reid opinion had been challenged by three articulate performers who held a contrary view.

By the way, ABC Chair Ita Buttrose (AC OBE) went into “no comment” mode and referred questions from The Australian to an ABC spokesman. Sure, the board does not run the ABC – but it is entitled to comment on the taxpayer funded broadcaster’s performance.

Currently ABC ratings are in free fall. This reflects, in part, the fact that the broadcaster has alienated so many of its traditional audiences. The coverage of the Coronation is an example of the problem – and the ABC’s no-problem-here response indicates that no solution is in sight while it remains a Conservative Free Zone.


Yugar baby death: Key evidence against parents charged with murder up to 18 months away

An amazing misallocation of resources by the Qld. government

A magistrate has demanded an explanation after being told key forensic evidence against parents charged with murder over their baby’s death will not be finalised for up to 18 months.

Among the outstanding evidence is a forensic neurologist’s report.

The court heard Queensland Health only employs one, and that person only works one day per week.

Reinhardt (Ryan) Albert Bosch, 33 at the time, and Noemi Kondacs, 22 at the time, were charged last year with murder and torture over the death of their seven-month-old son, Rhuan.

It is alleged that they prayed for their seriously injured boy, but did not call an ambulance until after their baby had died. It is understood the parents are deeply religious.

It is alleged Rhuan suffered his injuries between April 11 and November 2, but his parents did not call an ambulance until the morning of November 3.

Paramedics attended the family home on Mount Samson Road in Yugar, northwest of Brisbane, and alerted police to the death.

Their case was mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on February 6. It was estimated forensic evidence – including reports from a pathologist, radiologist and forensic neurologist – would take six to 18 months to be finalised.

The case was reviewed in the same court on Monday, and a more specific time frame still could not be provided. Among the reasons given was that Queensland Health only has one forensic neurologist and they work one day per week.

Magistrate Michael Quinn demanded an explanation for the delays. He took into account the existing backlog of forensic evidence awaiting analysis, which has been further exacerbated by the need to retest thousands of samples following the damning Commission of Inquiry.

“The court has become accustomed to there being such a lack of resources in forensic areas that very, very, very long delays are to be experienced,” he said.

“But 12 to 18 months cannot be acceptable.

“I do understand given the nature of the charges that it is in-depth, it is serious, and all of those relevant issues, but one day a week is of concern.

“The arresting officer is to file … an affidavit setting out what attempts have been made to obtain the outstanding material, in particular medical statements, and what advice has been given concerning ETAs and why material is unable to be disclosed in a reasonable time.

“That is not meant to be a criticism of investigators, but merely to enable the court to be better informed of the ETAs on our outstanding material.”

Mr Bosch and Ms Kondac’s cases were adjourned to July 3.


Climate misinformation from "The Guardian"

Leftist organ quick to misallocate blame

The Guardian Australia has made multiple corrections to content it published about misinformation and Sky News Australia.

The online news outlet published a podcast titled, “Fox News and the consequences of lies with Lenore Taylor”, only to later amend it after making false claims relating to Sky News.

A note published on the Guardian’s website underneath the podcast by Taylor, the editor of the Guardian Australia, read: “An earlier version referred to adverse findings by the Australian Communications and Media Authority against Sky News Australia in respect of programs containing misinformation ​about C​ovid-19,” the correction states.

“This was incorrect.

“The programs were broadcast by Foxtel Cable Television Pty Limited on the Daystar channel.”

The embarrassing correction comes just one week after the Guardian also made false claims in relation to complaints lodged with the media regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The complaints were made about content relating to commentary by Sky News Australia host Rowan Dean on climate science, however the article incorrectly said the complaints were made by “Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission”.

In a statement on its website it later corrected the record to state the complaints were made by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

“This article was amended on 28 April 2023 to clarify that the initial complaints to ACMA were made by Kevin Rudd personally, not by Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission,” the correction said.

A Sky News Australia spokeswoman said in a statement: “This latest factual error is particularly ironic given the purported expertise of the presenters on the podcast, discussing misinformation.”


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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